What causes a lump on scalp, Skin and under hair? These lumps can be painful, small, large or hard and dry. Here is an insight on what might be causing the lumps, symptoms, and treatment on how to get rid of the bumps.
Lump on scalp under hair
Are you having a lump on scalp under hair? This could be as a result of hair follicles on your scalp becoming inflamed. This leads to a condition called scalp folliculitis. Typically, folliculitis causes red bumps that are tender or itchy. These bumps are filled with a clear or yellow fluid. This skin and scalp condition is caused by bacteria or fungus.
You may get folliculitis if you have damaged hair follicles. Shaving or wearing clothes that rub the skin can irritate the follicles, causing this condition. The pores can become blocked or irritated by sweat, machine oils, or make-up. When the follicles get injured, they most likely get infected.
Lump on scalp NHS
There can be several causes for the lump under scalps, such as an epidermal cyst, Lipoma, abscess, boil, sebaceous cyst or fibroma. It would be difficult to diagnose without an examination. You should consult a surgeon for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Lipomas are the most common painless and asymptomatic soft tissue tumors and are slow-growing, benign in nature. They contain fat which forms lobulated soft masses enclosed by a thin fibrous capsule. Lipomas occur in 1% of the population. They presumably arise from fat that may occur in the back, hips, or neck in adults. They consist of fat globules due to which they are very soft in consistency.
These types of swellings are usually subcutaneous in location and not malignant. Sometimes swelling may be accompanied by dry flaky patches on the scalp due to skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, or psoriasis.
You should consult your doctor for a proper evaluation. The diagnosis is through physical findings. Sometimes a needle biopsy or a CT scan may be done to confirm the diagnosis or rule out any malignant changes.
The therapy depends on the location and diagnosis of the swelling. Generally, the cysts are removed for cosmetic reasons. The treatment of cysts involves complete surgical excision with the capsule to prevent local recurrence.
Lump on scalp cancer
Sun exposure can cause cancerous growths on the skin including the scalp. Apart from tumors, a number of growths are associated with sun exposure especially in bald men. These growths can appear in different sizes and shapes ranging from a pinhead to the golf ball. Early detection and biopsy of any suspicious lesions is the way to make a diagnosis and treat appropriately. The following are some of the cancerous growths a biopsy can show;
Squamous cell carcinoma- it usually appears as a thickened crusty plaque that won’t heal.it can be more aggressive than basal cell and if untreated, it may push through the skin layers to the lymphatic system, blood stream, and nerve routes, where it can cause pain and symptoms of serious illness.
This condition often starts off as a precancerous lesion known as an actinic keratosis, a rough, flat, pink spot sometimes called a solar keratosis. When it becomes cancerous, the lesion appears raised above the normal skin surface and is firmer to touch. Sometimes the spot shows only a slight change from normal skin. The other signs of this condition include;
- Elevated growth with a depression in the center that occasionally bleeds- it can bigger quite rapidly
- A wart-like growth that crusts and sometimes bleeds
- A persistent, scaly red patch that has irregular borders, which sometimes crust or bleed
- Open, bleeding and crusting sore that persists for weeks
Basal cell carcinoma- localized skin cancer that is waxy in appearance. This type of cancer is usually found on sun-exposed areas of the skin like the scalp, forehead, nose, neck and back. Slow-growing basal cell carcinomas rarely cause pain in their earliest stages. They may bleed after a minor injury but then scab and heal. This makes it easy to make a tumor for a wound or sore.
In addition to the bleeding and healing, some other possible causes of this condition include;
- A pink growth with a slightly elevated rolled border and a crusted indentation in the center, tiny blood vessels may appear on the surface as the growth enlarges.
- A shiny bump or nodule that is pearly or translucent, and often pink, red or white. It can also be tan, black or brown, especially in dark-haired people
- A scar-like white, yellow or waxy area, often with poorly defined borders- the skin seems shiny and tight; sometimes, though less frequently, this can be a sign of an aggressive tumor.
- A reddish or irritated area that sometimes crusts over and may itch
Merkel cell tumors- appear as raised red nodules that grow rapidly; rare and aggressive and associated with a polyomavirus
Melanoma- this is a malignant growth that develops from moles and has a color variation with irregular borders.
Above are a varied number of lesions that appear on the scalp. These tumors and growths are best diagnosed by a dermatologist or other physician trained how to recognize the growths.
Lump on scalp above ear hurts
Lichen planus is an ailment that causes red or purple bumps on the skin. When this condition gets to the scalp, it is called lichen planopilaris. This condition can lead to permanent scarring and hair loss. Anyone can get this condition, but it is more likely to strike in middle age. There is no known cause for this condition and it can sometimes be diagnosed by its appearance. A skin biopsy can confirm the diagnosis.
This condition clears up on its own but may persist even for years. Treatment usually involves topical corticosteroid creams or oral steroids. If untreated, lichen planopilaris can lead to permanent hair loss.
Hard Dry lump on scalp
Hard dry lump on scalp is a common inflammation skin condition that could be as a result of seborrheic eczema. With this condition, your scalp becomes irritated, red, and scaly. These scabs can become itchy and very uncomfortable.
The inflammation of seborrheic eczema can cause it to spread to your face, neck, and behind the ears. In severe cases, it can spread to the rest of your body.
Eczema can be treated with shampoos, which help to loosen scales. Prescription-strength topical ointment may also be helpful.
Large Lump on scalp under skin
Large lump on scalp are common on the skin. They feel like large peas under the surface of the skin. These cysts are as a result of infection, clogging of sebaceous glands or foreign bodies. Two of the most common types of cysts that form under the skin on the scalp are epidermoid and pillar cysts.
They used to be called sebaceous cyst, but this term has been abandoned as they do not contain sebaceous fluid as was once thought. The contents of both types of cyst are made up of soggy keratin, comprising the substance that hairs and the top layer of skin are made from. It resembles soggy cheese or oily toothpaste.
Pillar cyst- this is a cyst that is full of semi-fluid content that looks like toothpaste. Growths normally form from hair follicles which are most often developed on the scalp. These cysts are mobile as well as smooth, filled with soggy keratin that is a protein material found in nails, hair, and skin and they may or may not be tender.
These types of cysts can run in families. In very rare cases, these cysts grow more extensively as well form rapidly multiplying pillar tumors- proliferating trichilemmal cysts. They are benign or non-cancerous but have very aggressive growth at the site of the cyst, and are very rare where these cysts become cancerous.
Pillar cysts are firm nodules that are flesh colored developing on the scalp and are easily palpable. They can affect anyone and are more common in women who are middle-aged. It is also common for several to develop at the same time.
Many large cysts are so tender and can obstruct wearing helmets or hats. They can cosmetically offensive. Acute inflammation of these cysts because of rupture is often mistaken as an infection. Incision with drainage under local anesthesia will help with comfort as well as limit scarring. To prevent complication, you can opt for excision. The surface is dome-shaped and smooth and these cysts are often hard to differentiate from epidermal cysts.
Small lump on scalp not painful
What could be the cause of small lumps on scalp? This is most probably as a result of cysts. Cysts are noncancerous, closed pockets of tissue that can be filled with fluid, pus, or other material. There are several types of cysts that can be found on scalp Conditions like epidermoid cysts usually don’t cause pain and can often go untreated. They grow slowly, do not cause other symptoms and almost never cancerous. They can range in size from ¼ inch to 2 inches across.
Typically, epidermoid cysts slightly loose under the skin, if the cyst hardens or becomes immobile under the skin, it is important that you seek medical attention.
Lipomas- these are soft, fatty lumps that grow under the skin. They are harmless and can usually be left alone if they’re small and painless. This condition is non-cancerous and is caused by an overgrowth of fat cells. They can grow anywhere in the body where there are fat cells. These bumps are fairly common and with about 1 in 100 people developing them. It’s unusual to develop more than one or two lipomas unless you have a rare inherited condition called familial multiple lipomatosis, which causes lipomas to develop all over the body.
Treatment, Removal of Lump on Scalp
There are several forms of treatments to help relieve the symptoms of lumps on scalp or even completely cure the condition. These include;
Surgery is essential to remove the large or infected lumps, bumps, or cysts on the scalp, especially those caused by common warts. The surgical removal of the lumps from the scalp is done usually by removing them with electro surgery with the help of a needle that sends an electrical charge through the wart or the lump on the scalp.
This way it vaporizes the growth in an order that the hardened tissue can be scraped off. You should note that lumps due to common wart can be painful while removing them surgically, but the pain is only short lived. This procedure is done by an expert dermatologist after proper diagnosis.
Cryotherapy which is treatment using liquid nitrogen can also be used to treat and get rid of lump on scalp.
Antibiotics, lumps like pillar cysts can be cured using an oral antibiotic. In other cases, a topical antibiotic is required.
How to get rid of Lump on scalp
There are some home remedies that can be used to naturally get rid of a bump on your scalp. Some can completely get rid of the bump, while others can only help in relieving the symptoms.
1. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains antiseptic and astringent properties that help in restoring the normal pH of the scalp. It helps increase the moisture and has no side effects because of being free from any additive or chemical. The following is how to use it;
- Obtain vinegar from fermented apple cider
- Apply 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar on the affected area
- With an aid of cotton ball, compress it in order to pull out the toxins of the skin
- Repeat this procedure at least twice a day until the bump heals
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a remedy rich with anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties. It also contains vitamin E that helps keep the skin moisturized and reduces itching. The following is how to apply aloe Vera to accelerate the healing of bumpy scalp;
- Extract the aloe Vera gel from the aloe leaf- you could use aloe Vera juice too
- Apply the gel on the affected area of the skin and rub gently
- Leave it on for about an hour and then rinse it off with water
- Repeat this procedure once a day until the bump heals
3. Baking soda
Baking soda contains soothing effect because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It also acts as a natural acid neutralizer that helps relieve itching. Applying this remedy will make the bump drier and better. The following is how you apply baking soda on your lump on scalp;
- Mix baking powder with a small amount of water
- Place the solution on the affected area
- Leave the solution to dry and then rinse off with cold water
- Repeat this more regularly until the bump clears
4. Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory, analgesic and soothing properties that help relieve bumps caused by dermatitis or any other infection. The following is the procedure on how to apply this remedy;
- Add several drops of peppermint oil to a bathtub filled with lukewarm water
- Soak in water for about half an hour
- Pat dry and then apply a moisturizing lotion
- Repeat this once a day
5. Cold compress
Applying an ice pack or a cool cloth helps soothe a bump. Try wrapping an ice pack in a paper towel and hold it on the bump up to 20 minutes. Give your skin a break an hour or so before you apply another ice pack.
- You can also hold a clean washcloth under cold running water for a few minutes and wring out the excess water, and then apply the cool cloth to your bump.
Honey contains anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial properties that make it an effective remedy for getting rid of bumps on scalp. Its healing properties enable it to easily combat bumps that develop after an infection or inflammation of hair follicles. The following is the procedure on how to apply honey:
- Use a cotton ball to apply natural honey directly on the affected area
- Leave the honey on the bump for around 30 minutes
- Wash the skin with warm water and pat dry
- Repeat this procedure every day until the bump improves or heals
7. Lemon juice
Lemon is rich in vitamin C and could therefore guarantee that it will dry the bumps on scalp. The following is the procedure on how to apply lemon juice more effectively:
- Obtain a fresh lemon and cut into small pieces
- Squeeze them to obtain the juice
- Dilute with some water
- Apply it on the affected area three times a day
- Repeat the procedure daily until the bump clears
8. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has both antibacterial and antifungal properties and this makes an effective remedy to get rid of bumps. This remedy can be applied directly to the affected area to kill infections and reduce inflammation unlike some other essential oils. This oil also kills strains of bacteria that cause skin infections.
The following is how you apply tea tree oil:
- Apply 1 to 2 drops of tea tree oil on a cotton swab
- Rub the swab on the affected area
- Repeat this procedure several times every day until the bump disappears
If the bump is larger, mix 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil with a spoon of coconut oil. This natural remedy should be applied to the affected area 2 to 3 times a day until the bump clears completely.
Garlic is a great ingredient for treating bumps on scalp due to its antifungal properties and antibacterial properties. It also helps in relieving itching and pain. Research shows that allicin in garlic contains powerful antimicrobial properties.
The following is how to use garlic:
- Crush up garlic clove and leave it for 10 minutes- This allows more allicin to form to boost its healing properties.
- Combine the crushed garlic with 3 tablespoons coconut oil or pure aloe Vera gel.
- Apply the healing garlic remedy to the boils, pimples, or cysts on your scalp.
- Leave for 20 minutes then rinse off with warm water and pat dry.
- Repeat the process 2 times a day to help get rid of bumps on your scalp area quickly.
Note: don’t use garlic directly to your skin because it can cause abrasion especially if your skin is sensitive and causes mild burns.
10. Turmeric paste
Turmeric contains both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Turmeric paste is an effective way to naturally get rid of bumps on your scalp since it can be applied to all bumps.
The following id the procedure on how to apply turmeric paste:
- Mix turmeric powder with water to make a thick paste.
- Apply the natural turmeric remedy to the affected area on your scalp and cover with a bandage.
- Leave for 20 minutes and rinse off with cool water.
Sources and References
- What causes lumps on scalp and natural remedies to get rid of it: https://www.epainassist.com/sports-injuries/head-and-face-injuries/what-causes-lumps-on-scalp-and-natural-remedies-to-get-rid-of-it
- scalp scabs: http://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/scalp-scabs#overview1
- Lumps, bumps, and your skin: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/cysts-lumps-bumps#1
- Epidermoid cysts, how to remove: http://www.healthline.com/health/epidermoid-cysts#overview1
- Lipoma, meaning, symptoms and treatment: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/lipoma/Pages/Introduction.aspx